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More on Mystery Shopping Scams March 6, 2010

Posted by Ann Michaels & Associates in Uncategorized.
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Mystery shopping scams have got to be the most frustrating part of this industry! I got a call yesterday from a very nice woman who explained she was on our website and was interested in becoming a shopper. So far, so good – we had a nice conversation about how to register with our company, how to find other legitimate companies, and what to expect as a new mystery shopper.

She seems excited and asks how pay works. So I talk about typical payments for mystery shops, how payments may be sent (and to check with each specific company you do work with), etc.

Then she asks the question that makes my heart drop and my blood pressure rise at an alarming pace…”That all sounds great. I don’t mean to sound greedy, but how do you get the $200.00 shops?”

What? So I ask what she’s referring to, and she explains that in the email “we’ sent her, we listed shops starting at $200.00. Looks like my friend “James Seldon” is at it again! If you haven’t heard of him, take a look at this recent post.

Once I recover, I explain that what she received was a scam, but we were in fact a real company and do not pay near what is described in that email. She asks if the address, phone number, and website “Mr. Seldon” provided in his email was ours. Yep, it is. So, while she was potentially interested in mystery shopping, she will not register with us, because how does she know that we are really legit when this fake email had all of our correct company information?

Point well taken, and if I were her, I don’t think I’d register with us either. It infuriates me that not only do these scam artists hurt unsuspecting people and potentially take hundreds, if not thousands of dollars from them if they fall for this, but they hurt the legitimacy of companies such as ours by providing our correct information on their correspondence, putting further doubt in people’s minds.

As an aside, WHY would they use real company information? More people are aware of these scams, so they will likely check it out before moving forward. I suppose though enough people may not investigate before moving forward and that is good enough for them.

Just remember – if the emails/mail/phone calls for mystery shopping are unsolicited, meaning you never registered with a mystery shopping company, and the work seems too good to be true, it is. Run far, far away and then go to the MSPA or Jobslinger to find the real work.

Until next time…happy shopping!

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